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Key Considerations for Investing in Collaboration

key considerations before investing in a collab solution infographic -halved 8_15

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Are you about to make a collaboration investment?

Planning to purchase a set of collaboration tools to facilitate communication between your employees?

Evaluating tools that make it easier for a distributed team to meet, to stay in synch, and be more productive?

That’s great news.

But what to buy?  A lot of companies sell collaboration solutions. But not all solutions are created equal.  Some meet very specific needs, but offer little flexibility.  For instance, video conferencing systems that can be used only by people in rooms with specific endpoints.

How to choose a solution that not only meets your immediate needs, but also the needs, scenarios, devices, and work styles of other teams and users?  Today and moving forward?  In other words, how do you avoid purchasing a solution that has limited value?

To help outline what to consider at this critical stage – before making a purchase – we created a simple infographic.

Check out the top considerations. Review your needs. Then you can make a more informed decision about a collaboration solution. Get the right foundation to support growth, accommodate user needs across functions, work with a diverse set of devices, and be easy for IT to manage.

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Business Quality Video Conferencing…It’s Magic, Even for the Scobleizer

A couple of weeks ago, we had the unique opportunity to support Tech on Deck with Robert Scoble and Scott Jordan. This first-time event was a big success. Remote viewers could actively engage with the hosts and guests, who ranged from Guy Kawasaki to Hap Klopp. The guests joined Robert and Scott using Jabber Guest from as far away as Israel. The discussions were fantastic.

Cisco’s own collaboration SVP Rowan Trollope also joined them from the comfort of his home via a Cisco MX200 G2 endpoint. Robert and Scott were shocked with the quality of the call – especially because it was living-room to living-room.  The quality of the video conferencing coming in over Jabber Guest was also good, but the experience delivered by a purpose-built video endpoint is still unrivaled.

As a marketer for video conferencing, this is the kind of excitement I wish I could bottle up and give to everyone. During a short interview with Robert (recently named #5 in Inc.’s Tech Power Players), we asked him how he uses video in his day-to-day work, about video quality, and the impact video can have in our lives – and how it can be better.


Read More »

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Reduce Costs and Increase User Adoption of Video

Yesterday I took my car to get a dent fixed. It was one of those dents that, while barely visible, required a lot of time and expense to fix. (In fact, you had to kind of crouch down and look very closely at the underside of one panel to see it.) But given that it cut all the way through the paint, I couldn’t ignore it!

When I collected the car in the evening, I was glad to see no evidence of the time when car met kerb a couple of weeks before.

The mechanic’s quality of work was marked by the fact that there was no evidence that anything had happened at all. He told me that the most enjoyable part of his job is meeting his customers – and making sure that they are happy with his work.

We’ve recently been spoilt with opportunities to talk directly to our customers and partners, with two shows in quick succession: Cisco Live and Infocomm. The enthusiasm of people who attended demos, talks and presentations was palpable. It was a great opportunity to learn first-hand about the issues people are facing, and how new capabilities of our solutions are helping to address them.

The main themes customers shared with me were: Read More »

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Bringing Our “A” Game: Cisco Again Recognized as a UC&C Industry Leader by IDC

I’ve noticed that many business clichés have been invading my language. I’ve been trying to be proactive in curbing the habit. Needless to say, it’s not working. So instead of trying to cut back, at the end of the day I’ve decided to push the envelope and give 110% to using as many as possible in this post. My hope is that this moves the needle in creating my own behavioral paradigm shift. 

Has it become cliché to be the “industry leader”? As an industry, we (marketing professionals) overuse the term “industry leading” to the point where it has probably become a rubber stamp. But I think it’s acceptable when credible independent sources do in fact recognize you as an industry leader.

To that end, IDC recently did just that. IDC named Cisco as a leader in the IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Unified Communications and Collaboration 2015 Vendor Assessment — for the second time in as many iterations of that report.

It’s important to understand that this kind of analysis is a moving target based on a constantly evolving view of the market. It requires us to open the Read More »

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Bit Stew shows off Analytics for Utilities with MIx Director at Cisco Live

We caught up with Andrew Miller, Sr. Sales Engineer from Bit Stew Systems at Cisco Live this year. Bit Stew is a Cisco partner that focuses on the analytics space with a platform that they call ‘Software Defined Operations for the Industrial Internet’. Their solution works with Cisco IOx on a number of Cisco platforms. The demonstration in this video shows just a small part of what they do, but does showcase analytics at the edge (Fog Computing) in a practical way with, in this case, an electrical utility customer.

Bit Stew’s Mix Core platform automates data ingestion, applies machine intelligence to learn patterns in the data, allowing industrial companies to discover actionable insights that optimize operational performance. MIx Director™ (formerly Grid Director™) is powered by the MIx Core platform, and is the application that industrial enterprises rely on for a contextual and real-time view of their operations, assets and customers.

In the Video, Andrew talks about the “Fog Computing” aspects of the MIx Director solution. With this solution running in cisco Grid routers at the edge of the network, a lot of the filtering of data can be done locally, without back-hauling to the data center or elsewhere. So long as everything is ticking along nicely, there’s no need to burden central resources or comms networks with unnecessary traffic. But if something untoward should happen, then operators will get alerts and see in real time what’s happening. Service crews or emergency services can be dispatched and potential disasters minimized. Well, don’t let me steal too much of Andrews thunder. Watch the video to see what happens next!

You can find out more about Bit Stew and some of their key people by reading these other blogs:

There’s a great “point of View” document that talks about the business benefits of the partnership here: Read More »

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